SCAFA, which stands for Self, Community and Future Assessment, is New Summit Academy’s innovative system for supporting students in identifying areas for growth, setting goals and steps, supporting students to follow through with those steps, and assessing progress to guide future goals.
Here’s how our SCAFA system works:
During the admissions process, our talented team assembles all of the information from interviews, applications, testing and transcripts and identifies key areas of attention for student growth.
Those areas of attention are turned into goals for students and their families to work toward while part of the NSA community.
Those goals are turned over to a student’s SCAFA team – his go-to people at NSA – that consists of his Case Manager, Academic Advisor, and his Experiential Education Mentor.
Every student meets with his SCAFA team at the start of each quarter to look at his areas of attention, review his goals and progress, and to set concrete steps to take during the upcoming quarter to work toward achieving his goals.
New Summit Academy’s incredible program elements ARE those concrete steps!
So, while students are participating in academic planning meetings and project-based learning, while they are engaging in therapeutic groups and Honor Councils, and as they immerse in the Costa Rican culture, are challenged during Integrated Aventuras, and volunteer at Hogar de Vida, they are working toward their goals.
NSA’s Orientation program, its clubs and cultural activities, Family Workshops, Student Council, community life, Global Citizenship workshops, certification courses, proposal systems . . . each element that makes New Summit Academy special is intentionally created to help students build skills for success.
That’s the beauty of SCAFA!
With challenging and enriching academic days, Honor Council, SCAFA Team meetings, physical education, evening therapeutic groups, and nightly homework, NSA students certainly look forward to some fun and relaxation on the weekends.
Our Experiential Education team works closely with Student Council to design and schedule a variety of activities over the weekends, ranging from outdoor pursuits to cultural activities, and from trips to the movies to community service. Here is a sample of activities that our students have enjoyed in just the past two weeks:
This month, students visited a cacao plantation to join in on the chocolate-making process and also spent time learning about Costa Rica’s indigenous past at the Gold Museum.
A nearby river filled with pools and natural rock slides is always a hit for our students!
Students often look forward to action-packed days on the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica, where they can be found body surfing, playing soccer on the sand, and flying kites!
Our students and staff recently pitched in at Hogar de Ancianos, our local retirement home, helping for the day in the laundry room.
Pure Go-Karting and Paintball Fun
Competition gets fierce when NSA students get behind the wheel or on the paintball field!
Weekends may be just as busy as weekdays at NSA, but these student-driven activities let the young men recharge and be ready for each coming week!
At NSA, our Thanksgiving celebration is about dinner with family and friends, but also about giving back and engaging with our community to express our gratitude.
Who knew that life at boarding school could be so interesting and so much fun? Every day, New Summit Academy’s students and staff share rigorous academic discourse, once-in-a-lifetime experiential adventures, unique cultural immersion experiences, and exciting recreational opportunities.
Take a look at what our students have done in just these past two weeks!
Costa Rica was one of the first nations on Earth to declare Children’s Day a national holiday as a celebration of its youth. At NSA, we naturally celebrate the day with our community partner, Hogar de Vida children’s home. Our young neighbors were invited to campus for a morning of fun, organized by Daisy our Cultural Coordinator.
Our students played with the children, took turns riding an ox cart and horses, colored and drew on tables covered in paper, and shared a delicious lunch, all to show our appreciation for the children of Hogar de Vida.
After a rigorous school semester, students and staff are ready for some fun and relaxation, and the recreational Aventura delivered!
Students traveled to Manuel Antonio National Park and spent their days swimming in the ocean, hiking to spectacular waterfalls, playing soccer on the wide beaches, and exploring the park, one of the most beautiful in Costa Rica. Students returned to campus ready for their next adventure: Peru!
Soccer. Cooking. Birthday Parties. Barbecues. Our students have the unique opportunity to participate in these activities and much more with their beloved Costa Rican homestay families.
Each family, carefully selected to match student interests and personalities, opens their home to one of our students every Sunday and shares their lives and culture with them.
To thank them, NSA hosted our always-anticipated homestay family picnic this past week, which included an impressive karaoke contest, delicious lunch, and the ever-popular bingo tournament. Many thanks to our Atenas community for providing our students with a home away from home!
Pursuing healthy passions is an important part to living a full, balanced life, and our Clubs enable our students to advocate for their particular interests in that pursuit. Any student can start a Club with enough interest and by passing a proposal with the Experiential Education team. Once a Club is approved, student and staff leaders facilitate a quarterly Club Fair for student sign-ups.
This quarter’s Clubs include Cooking, Gardening, Chess, Comic Books, Biking, Climbing, Music Makers, and Backcountry Skills.
Clubs then collaborate to organize and schedule weekly meetings and weekend outings, developing student advocacy, organization and follow through while having fun!
The next two weeks are exciting ones for our students, families and staff of NSA! Newer students will be off adventuring and relaxing in the untouched forests of Sarapiqui and on the shores of Lake Arenal. They will be spending the week zip-lining, playing soccer, stand-up paddle boarding and horseback riding in some of the most beautiful areas of the country.
Another group of students will be traveling to South Africa for two weeks of impactful cultural immersion and community building.
Next week, our students and staff will be hard at work studying and applying their learning hands-on in their efforts to earn their Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) and CPR certifications. Stay tuned for stories and photos from these upcoming activities!
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